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Anorak | A Woman Changed

A Woman Changed

by | 7th, November 2005

‘THERE was a time not too far back when Camilla, the new Duchess of York, was the scariest thing out there.

She was worse than bird flu. She was Omar Barki in drag, a soft perm and contact lenses. She was a binge-drinking, pub-smoking MRSA super bug.

It was a miracle the Government hadn’t banned her. And they might have. The Government wants to ban us from doing most things. Last week they wanted to stop us drinking on trains.

Health Secretary John Reid was heard by the Times explaining the plan to the BBC. “It is right that people should be able to have a civilised drink at whatever time they want,” said he. “But it is right also that people should be responsible about not being abusive through drink on buses and other places. That is the balance of rights and responsibilities.”

A civilised drink? What’s that, then? Raising your pinky finger as you tip a can of larger into your face? Drinking hooch from a bone china cup? Mixing vodka with your Earl Gray tea?

By Tuesday, we had heard no more of the Government’s latest drive to make us all more like Tony Blair, albeit without the Army. But Camilla was very much in evidence.

She was off to the States with Prince Charles. But before she went the Mail wanted to tell us what this reinvented woman really thought about Diana. According to a “trusted royal aide”, Camilla felt “nothing but contempt” for Diana. She used to call her “that mad cow”.

She “blamed Diana for everything,” said this aide. “She hated what Diana was doing to Charles and blamed her entirely for how low the Prince was when he came to Camilla for comfort.”

And don’t for a moment think Camilla was in any way jealous of the younger woman married to her lover. Apparently, Camilla mocked how Diana had gone from “scrawny” to “muscly”. She would also draw attention to Diana’s small bosom and her own larger chest.

Camilla has no problem filling her clothes. But what would she be wearing on tour? As the Mirror reported in “CAMI££A”, the eight-day trip was set to cost the British taxpayer £250,000. Camilla was taking along 20 staff and 50 dresses.

Some of these gowns might even be black. And that would be a good choice. As the Express told us on Tuesday’s front page, black makes the wearer look slim.

To illustrate this breakthrough, the Express showed us two pictures of Charlotte Church. In one, the former Rear of The Year winner was wearing a satin gown that made her look ample enough to regain her title and hang on to it for the next five years.

In the other picture, Church was dressed in black. Her figure had been minimised. Those “brainy boffins” at New Scientist magazine were right. Darker fabrics do make it harder to see those unsightly bulges.

Of course, not everyone has bulges they want to hide. Like Camilla, Angleina Jolie has an

enviable figure. And she had been wearing white, as the Star used Wednesday’s front page to tell us that Jolie had just married Brad Pitt.

Black? Or white? What was it be? If only Kate Moss were around to help Camilla choose. But cocaine Kate was gone.

On Monday the Sun said Kate was “fleeing” her home in London “to escape her old druggie haunts as she fights to stay off cocaine”. Kate was leaving St John’s Wood, that sink of vice, boutiques and mums in 4x4s, and moving to a farmhouse in the Costwolds at a time when Camilla needed her most.

Things were getting complicated for Camilla. Time was running out. And when Thursday came we held our breath. What would she be wearing?

And then we found out. The Sun said that for the star-studded charity bash in New York, Camilla had worn a blue velvet dress.

That was important. As was the fact that for the occasion Camilla clutched to her bosom a sequinned Union Jack handbag. “I’m flying the flag for Great Britain,” said a beaming Camilla.

The paper said Camilla “wowed” the party. Guest Marie Pelman told the Sun: “Camilla dazzled us…It was obvious she was making a declaration, she’s the new girl on the block.”

Not the chopping block, of course. Lopping royal heads off went out of fashion years ago. Rather like Camilla’s dress.

And that’s not our opinion, but that of the New York critics the Express said had labelled Camilla “Frump Tower”, in reference to the city’s Trump Tower.

The New York Post’s fashion editor Orly Healy had taken one look at Camilla’s outfit and said that Diana “would be amused”. She called the dress “fussy”. Camilla looked like an “escapee from the choirboy pews of Westminster Abbey”.

But however bad the dress, it was surely a step up from a blanket.

And by Friday, Camilla was sticking with blue. The Mail had pictures of Camilla in the company of USA Vice-Admiral Richard H Carmona.

Carmona was ushering Camilla towards the medical establishment at Bethesda, Maryland. “He then tried to walk her through a plate-glass window,” said the Mail’s man on the scene.

But disaster was averted. To a cry of “Nooooo!” (surely “Whoaah!”) from the assembled photographers, Camilla was brought up short. The Duchess reared up about three inches from the 8ft high sheet of glass. “If I go any further I’ll break my nose,” the Sun heard her say.

Later in the day, the Mirror looked on as Camilla and Charles dutifully turned up for a gala dinner at the White House – she dressed in a shiny red dress, he in a dark suit.

From demure blue to vivid red, Camilla was growing in confidence as her outfits became more noticeable.

Camilla was no longer the most evil woman on the planet. She was dong alright. She was a woman changed…’



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